Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

It was a record-long legislative session in Washington. But the number of bills that actually became law was quite few – comparatively.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested projects – what you might call pork.

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the end of the session and what lawmakers left on the table for next time.

The Washington Legislature finally adjourned its 2015 session Friday. The last piece of business was for the state House to approve $508 million in new spending on roads, ferries and transit.

Highline senior Lesley Delgadillo's graduation is held up by one thing: the biology exit exam newly required in Washington state this year.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Washington State Senate Republicans and Democrats have agreed to delay a requirement for high school students to pass a biology exit exam this year and 2016.

This helps about 2,000 high school seniors who were supposed to graduate in June, but still hadn't met the science requirement.

One of the students is Lesley Delgadillo, whose story we brought you last month.

The Washington state Senate voted Thursday afternoon to delay a voter-approved class size measure and a biology test high school graduation requirement.

Washington Senate Republicans have agreed to suspend a biology exam requirement that’s keeping nearly 2,000 high school students from graduating.

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about why lawmakers are still in session and what state Democrats want before the session ends.

Washington state's brand new operating budget was not even hours old Wednesday when it sprung a big hole.

A $2 billion hole.

The Washington state Senate Wednesday morning failed to muster a two-thirds vote to suspend a voter-approved class size reduction measure. That could put a $2 billion hole in the freshly passed two-year budget.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a new two-year budget into law just before midnight Tuesday averting a partial government shutdown.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will sign a new two-year budget into law Tuesday, just in time to avert a partial government shutdown.

Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington’s next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the budget deal and whether or not we'll avoid a state shutdown.

With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget.

If you have plans to visit a Washington State Park over the Fourth of July, Washington Gov. Inslee has a message for you.

“You’ll be able to go that park next weekend,” Inslee said. “I wouldn’t tell you that if I didn’t believe it was going to happen.”

Republican state lawmaker Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla, Washington, is celebrating Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.

E-cigarette. Photo credit: "Disposable e-cigarette," by Lindsay Fox on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Lindsay Fox (ecigarettereviewed.com)

Ross Reynolds talks with Everett Herald reporter Jerry Cornfield about a unique lobbying technique the e-cigarette industry is trying out.

The state of Washington has sent email alerts to 26,000 state employees notifying them of temporary layoff.

Washington House Democrats are moving forward with a plan to eliminate several tax exemptions, but they don’t yet have buy-in from Senate Republicans.

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW Olympia corespondent Austin Jenkins about the upcoming "do or die week" for state lawmakers to finish the budget. 

There’s still no budget deal in Olympia, but Washington House Democrats said Friday they’re willing to drop their push for a state capital gains tax.

Washington lawmakers have until the 30-day special session runs out on June 27 to reach a budget deal. If they fail to do so, a partial government shutdown would begin on July 1.

If Washington lawmakers don’t have a budget by the end of the month, state government will shut down. But it would only be a partial shutdown.

It’s not just Washington state agencies that are preparing for a possible government shutdown on July 1. Washington House and Senate administrators will meet Wednesday to discuss contingency planning.

Budget negotiators continue to meet at the Washington capitol, but there’s still no deal on a spending plan for the next two years.

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about budget progress at the state.

The Washington state Capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/4PxvK4

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW's Olympia correspondent, Austin Jenkins, about the battle between Republicans and Democrats over the last details of a new state budget. 

Governor Jay Inslee’s budget director said Friday that negotiators have reached preliminary agreement on a key issue that’s been hanging them up.

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